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Proverbs: 23

1When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
observe carefully what is before you;
2and put a knife to your throat
if you are a man given to appetite.
3Do not desire his delicacies,
for they are deceptive food.
4Do not toil to acquire wealth;
be wise enough to desist.
5When your eyes light upon it, it is gone;
for suddenly it takes to itself wings,
flying like an eagle toward heaven.
6Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy;
do not desire his delicacies;
7for he is like one who is inwardly reckoning.
"Eat and drink!" he says to you;
but his heart is not with you.
8You will vomit up the morsels which you have eaten,
and waste your pleasant words.
9Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
for he will despise the wisdom of your words.
10Do not remove an ancient landmark
or enter the fields of the fatherless;
11for their Redeemer is strong;
he will plead their cause against you.
12Apply your mind to instruction
and your ear to words of knowledge.
13Do not withhold discipline from a child;
if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.
14If you beat him with the rod
you will save his life from Sheol.
15My son, if your heart is wise,
my heart too will be glad.
16My soul will rejoice
when your lips speak what is right.
17Let not your heart envy sinners,
but continue in the fear of the LORD all the day.
18Surely there is a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.

19Hear, my son, and be wise,
and direct your mind in the way.
20Be not among winebibbers,
or among gluttonous eaters of meat;
21for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.

22Hearken to your father who begot you,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.
23Buy truth, and do not sell it;
buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
24The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice;
he who begets a wise son will be glad in him.
25Let your father and mother be glad,
let her who bore you rejoice.

26My son, give me your heart,
and let your eyes observe my ways.
27For a harlot is a deep pit;
an adventuress is a narrow well.
28She lies in wait like a robber
and increases the faithless among men.

29Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has strife? Who has complaining?
Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes?
30Those who tarry long over wine,
those who go to try mixed wine.
31Do not look at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly.
32At the last it bites like a serpent,
and stings like an adder.
33Your eyes will see strange things,
and your mind utter perverse things.
34You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
like one who lies on the top of a mast.
35"They struck me," you will say, "but I was not hurt;
they beat me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake? I will seek another drink."


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Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971], Apocrypha, copyright 1957; The Third and Fourth Books of the Maccabees and Psalm 151, copyright 1977, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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